Jim Smart
May 1, 2004

The Fairlane name dates back to the mid-'50s at the Ford Division. But whenever we think of a Fairlane, we don't often think of a '56 hardtop or sedan. we think of this guy-the slippery coke-bottle-bodied '66-'67 intermediate. As Fairlanes go, the '66-'67 remains a favorite on a grand scale. Enthusiasts love them. So, if you're going to build a Fairlane, go all the way with one that impresses. Dress for success. Build to impress. That's what Bill Barnes had in mind when he planned and executed this Raven Black '66 Fairlane GTA two-door hardtop.

Bill understood when he approached this project that it wasn't black and white. It had to be all one way-pinnacle in nature, opting for the best of everything. When he ordered this Fairlane in March of 1966, he knew the best he could do was a Fairlane GTA with the 390 high-performance V-8, C6 Cruise-O-Matic, and 3.00:1 limited slip. When he checked dealer stock, the Ford dealer only had a Fairlane in Nightmist Blue. Bill knew Nightmist Blue would never do. It had to be black-Raven Black. The order was submitted and 6K40S208271 was bucked weeks later at the Kansas City assembly plant.

In retrospect, (38 years after the fact) Bill knows he and his wife Marilyn couldn't really afford the car. Again, that black and white thing. For Bill, it was all or nothing. The Barnes did what it took to order the car and take delivery. In those days, house payments were $75 a month. New car payments were $80 a month. There wasn't even enough cash flow to put gas in the tank. But since then, the Barnes have driven this Fairlane 175,000 miles. Would you care to calculate how many tankfuls that is?

Bill and Marilyn have treated the Fairlane as a member of the family for the better part of a lifetime. So when it was time to restore the car, Bill knew it had to be a restoration of extraordinary proportions. He wanted something that would make the Fairlane better than it had ever been. We're convinced he succeeded. Let's look at the results.

That's DuPont Raven Black urethane. We like the 427 Fairlane fiberglass hood with the ram-air scoop. Beneath the fiberglass is a 427ci FE big-block with a N.O.S. medium riser intake. Inside, a Comp Cams bumpstick, MSD billet distributor and 6A ignition, Edelbrock heads and water pump, high-torque starter, Moroso 7-quart oil pan, Griffin polished aluminum radiator, and a 211/42-inch exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers. We wish you could hear this thing.

On the ground are American Racing 15-inch Torq-Thrust 11 wheels. Heavy-duty springs and shocks make for better handling. Rowe's Upholstery handled the interior work. The LeCarra wheel is also a nice touch. It has taken 13 years to get here. Bill gives most of the credit for this restoration to West Coast Restorations in Snohomish, Washington, which has many high-caliber restorations to its credit.

Bill likes to reflect on the many years his 390 Fairlane GTA was a daily driver, especially in an area where the climate varies a lot throughout the year. Despite daily use, the Fairlane remains a solid ride that was straightforward to restore. Pumping it up with a 427 and making it nicer than it has ever been was Bill's only objective-proof that it is always pretty much black and white.